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  1. #1
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    Are 700 wheels too large for smaller frames?

    I recently read somewhere, maybe about a Rivendell, that a certain frame with a 700 wheelset was only available down to about 57cm? Below a 57 they suggested getting other models with the same geometry and 650 wheelsets since its impossible to properly design (a 50cm for example) frame with 700 wheels, because the bike gets deisgned around the wheels, not the rider. Makes sense to me since I need that extra toe clearance for fenders and ride a 50cm

    Should 650 wheelsets become a consideration to get the best possible fit on a bike?

  2. #2
    domestique squeakywheel's Avatar
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    Surly specs 26 inch wheels on the Long Haul Trucker for sizes smaller than 54cm. I think some types of frame geometries are not possible with 700c wheels in small sizes. I have 3 bikes in the 52 to 53cm size range with 700c wheels. All have toe overlap. It doesn't bother me and I'm glad to have 700c wheels on those bikes. You get used to it and learn how to deal with it. I wouldn't go with 650B wheels on any new bike. 26 inch wheels solve the same problem and are more readily available. I don't think we need more than 2 rim diameter standards for adult non-recumbent bikes.

  3. #3
    Senior Member brianmcg123's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by uprightbent View Post
    I recently read somewhere, maybe about a Rivendell, that a certain frame with a 700 wheelset was only available down to about 57cm? Below a 57 they suggested getting other models with the same geometry and 650 wheelsets since its impossible to properly design (a 50cm for example) frame with 700 wheels, because the bike gets deisgned around the wheels, not the rider. Makes sense to me since I need that extra toe clearance for fenders and ride a 50cm

    Should 650 wheelsets become a consideration to get the best possible fit on a bike?
    That bike you are talking about is the A. Homer Hilsen. It was built around Riv's new "Silver" brake line. It is an extra long brake so that you can use really large tires with sidepull brakes. Their Saluki and Blerioit are the same kind of bike as the A. Homer but use 650B wheels.

    This just allows you to have less toe overlap, but as squeaky said you can accomplish this with 26inchers. I like Riv and their sizing philosophy and a lot of their bikes, but this 650B thing is silly. I have a LHT and I would rather have one with 26 inch wheels instead of 650b. Although I ride a 56 so I got 700c.
    Everyone's a roadie, they just might not know it yet.

  4. #4
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    Rivendell Atlantis uses 26" tires on their smaller models, not 650B

  5. #5
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    Terry Precision use 26" and 24" on their smaller frames. The 26" hybrid style "Susan-B" is one of the few bikes of its kind, it is a decent, midweight utility/leisure bike not laden down with comfort-bike features. They are highly valued by smaller women who understand cycling and used ones fetch a good price.

  6. #6
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    IMO the compromises get pretty severe with a 700c frame smaller than 53 cm or so. Riders of typical proportion get to make a decision between lots of toe overlap or too much top tube when they spec 700c wheels on a small frame. IMO 650c is a great choice in the smaller sizes and brings everything back into proportion.

    FWIW, toe overlap is something that can be gotten used to, but for the most part, I don't think it's something that should be. It is absolutely possible to build wondeful frames that do not have overlap, so to me it seems a bit of a cop-out when a framebuilder says "just get used to it, it's no big deal". I mean, it's possible to get used to brake squeal too, but brakes that don't squeal are very common, so why put up with it?

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